The FINANCIAL — Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Tokyo Women’s Medical University (TWMU) have agreed to conduct joint research using artificial intelligence (AI) to verify and analyze kidney transplant test results, recognize early-stage kidney transplant rejection tendencies and to foresee side effects in efforts to identify more effective post-operation treatments for patients.
Dr. Kazunari Tanabe, Director and Professor of Urology, Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital, said, “Kidney transplantation requires a complicated diagnosis and treatment process, and it is necessary to utilize new technologies like AI in Japanese healthcare industry. By collaborating with Accenture, which has proven experiences and capabilities in AI methodologies, to analyze the abundant data of kidney transplants performed at Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital, we hope to validate how AI contributes to better diagnosis and treatment methods, that will lead to improved quality of life for kidney transplant patients.”
Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital will provide its previous kidney transplant data – such as basic information of patients and donors, drug information, test items and event occurrence status. Under secure environment on Accenture’s AI Hub Platform, Accenture will analyze such data with appropriate analytic algorithms, such as machine learning, to predict rejection and side effects, to identify confounding factors, to discover optimal donor and recipient combinations, and to develop an AI model that can recommend optimal post-operation treatments for kidney transplant patients. The results of the joint research are planned to be publicized by the end of 2021.
Japan has the second largest number of dialysis patients per one million people, and the number of dialysis patients is increasing every year (*). With advances in medical technology and drugs, the engraftment period – when the blood-forming cells received on transplant day start to grow and make healthy blood cells – of transplanted kidneys has improved dramatically, but the quality of life of transplant patients has been reduced due to side effects of long-term use of immunosuppressants during maintenance therapy. Accenture and TWMU are jointly tackling this this problem, by verifying how AI can effectively support physicians to identify chronic rejection in early stage from observation test results, to foresee side effects, and to select highly effective treatments.
“By collaborating with AI, humans can expand our abilities to create new value and synthesize new insights,” says Dr. Gakuse Hoshina, Managing Director, Strategy & Consulting, Applied Intelligence Japan Lead, Accenture. “By combining the rich experience of Tokyo Women’s Medical University and Professor Tanabe, who is one of Japan’s leading doctors in kidney transplants, with excellent analysis using Accenture’s AI Hub Platform, we hope to create unprecedented value and positive impact in kidney transplant treatment for patients.”
“It is essential that new technologies in the medical field are introduced carefully giving top priority to the safety and security of patients,” says Shigeo Kasai, President of Triess co., ltd., who advises on the effectiveness of this joint research based on his knowledge and experience in the use of AI in the medical field. I hope that the collaboration between Tokyo Women’s Medical University, a leading authority on kidney transplants, and Accenture, an expert in AI analysis and implementation, will lead to unprecedented innovation for kidney transplant patients and donors.”
The research will be conducted in compliance with “Ethical Guidelines for Medical and Health Research Involving Human Subjects” by Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and is approved by the ethical review board. All data used is anonymized, and study subjects will be considered with no inconvenience in ethics and privacy, and have the right to opt out from the study by contacting TWMU.
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